19:29 GMT13 April 2021
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    US President Joe Biden has faced criticism from opposition Congress Republicans and his predecessor Donald Trump and legal challenges from state governments over his relaxation of immigration restrictions and his order to halt construction of the border wall.

    US House Minority leader Kevin McCarthy's assertion that border agents are catching "terrorists" trying to cross the Mexican border illegally has been confirmed.

    On a visit to the Texas border city of El Paso on Tuesday, McCarthy said US Border Patrol agents stationed near the third of 258 obelisks that mark the frontier had detained people from the Middle East whose names were on the national "terrorist watch list". 

    "When you go out to Monument 3 and you talk to those agents, it’s not just people from Mexico or Honduras or El Salvador, they are now finding people from Yemen, Iran, Turkey," McCarthy said. "People on the terrorist watch list they are catching, and they are rushing in all at once."

    Arizona Democrat Representative Ruben Gallego claimed McCarthy must be "wrong or lying" since the Congressional military intelligence sub-committee he chairs had not heard of it yet. However, the Border Patrol is a police agency under the command of the Department of Homeland Security, not defence.

    But Fox News confirmed the arrests, saying three individuals from Yemen and one from Serbia had been picked up by Border Patrol since last October, while 11 Iranian nationals Eleven were arrested in Arizona in early February after crossing the border illegally.

    Four foreign nationals whose names match those on the terrorist list, a congressional aide familiar with Customs and Border Protection said.

    ​Democrat president Joe Biden has refused to travel to the border to witness the migrant crisis that Republicans say his reversal of predecessor Donald Trump's policies has caused.


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